Review by ColeMonsen

Reviewed: 10/19/05

Like Doom 3, except without the polish.

This is the enigma that is Doom 3. A game so hyped that everyone wanted the game, even their own mothers. Sporting a revolutionary graphics engine, this game was going to change the way we look at shooters. Soon after it came out, magazine after magazine fellated it with positive reviews, calling it "True art". However what they failed to mention was that the gameplay was old. The killer AI that was promised, was replaced with enemies running towards you. Monsters would jump out of closets, or appear out of nowhere.

Soon after, the people who were hailing the game, were actually growing tired of it's disappointing gameplay and cheap scares. Magazines forgot about the game. The multiplayer felt like a quick addition, and people were ready to move on. But that didn't stop Nerve software from releasing an expanison pack a mere eight months later. With some enw monsters, a few added weapons and a brand new single player, is it worth it? On the PC it is, but how does the console version fare? We'll see:

The good:

Well, one thing people can't deny is the graphics engine. When you look at it you can see id software went all out to immerse you in the game. Lights flicker on and off, of maybe the room is covered in darkness. Either way this game retains it's creepiness. Enemies animate fluidly, the guns look really good. What more can I say? The graphics are top notch for a current generation console game.

First of all, the double barrel shotgun is back in all of it's glory. Unless the monster is a Hell Knight or a Mancubus, they won't stand for more than one direct hit. You can actually use this weapon throughout the entire game, although it does kind of ruin the fun. Also there is a new weapon that takes advantage of the game's physic. Called the 'Grabber' it can grab anything from barrels(explosive kinds too), power ups, and even certain enemies. Tired of the imps throwing those plasma balls at you? Well a new mechanice lets you able to grab the enemies projectile in the air and fling it right back at them. If you were tired of just blasting enemies, why not just use their firepower against them?

Did I mention new monsters? Well Nerve felt that the monster roster wasn't good enough, so they went and added a few more. The original Lost Souls from Doom are back, and as annoying as ever. A new Imp like creature replaces the old Imp as the staple enemy of this game. It's a lot faster and more aggressive and can hurl fireballs too. What would Doom be without another gigantic creature? The Bruiser, with a screen for a mouth, is bigger than a Hell Knight and hurls lightning fast fireballs. With three very challenging boss fights ahead, you do indeed have your hands full.

The new artifact in the game is a lot more special and is actually a necessity at certain parts of the game. After fighting a few special boss fights, it will be granted a few demon powers. Each one differs, but I won't spoil it for you. You might find it disturbing that is feeds on human souls. After absorbing the soul, the bodies simply disappear. Creepy. Wait till you see what it does to your hands!!

The bad(A lot more):

Like the title of this review says, this game lacks the polish that Doom 3 had. The beginning cutscene you can clearly see the framerate drop continuously. When there is a lot of action going on, you can see that the game is trying to keep up with the action, but it ends up failing. The video logs in your PDA have trouble streaming, some areas of the game suffer from slowdown much more than others. Hell, even the gameplay intro before you enter the menu suffers from framerate drops and CD skipping.

I also noticed with this game that it suffers from a lot of disc read errors and CD skipping. Cuts cenes would cut off, then go back to normal. I was at several loading screens when the game would tell me to clean the disc. Sloppy.

Another thing that was disappointing is that they decided to combine the pistol and the flashlight together. I would understand if the quick switch system didn't work, but when I played Doom 3, it was simple and easy. A simple press of the button would switch between your current weapon or the flashlight. It's still follows suit here, but there was no need for this addition. The system was fine as it was.

The single player is relatively short , a modest 6-8 hours is more than enough to finish this bad boy off. They've still included a Nightmare difficulty, but most people will probably play this once and never look back.

As usual, the multiplayer is severley lacking. It still only supports 4 people, plus they didn't feel that Capture The Flag was to be included for some awful reason. The game has all of the modes that the original had, with just some new maps. Although the game does support tournaments and leaderboards, I'll just assume people will quickly lose interest for much better online offerings. This game also lack Co-Op which the original had. Also, multiplayer does not support the 'Grabber'. Disappointing Nerve, disappointing.

As usual the story takes a backseat to the action(typical id software game), but here's the rundown: 2 years after the tragic accident on Mars, a satellite has picked up a signal from Site 1 of the Mars facility. A team led by Elizibeth McNeil(mentioned a few times in the first game) goes into discover what the energy beacon is. Shortly after discovering the beacon, it is actually an alien artifact. You, the Combat Engineer, grabs the artifact and unleashes a new hell on the base. This is where the game begins. You are a no name soldier who has to fight to hell and back(literally!)

If you feel like your playing the same game, you're not alone.

Rundown:

+ Double Barrel Shotgun.
+ Graphics.
+ New artifact.
+ New monsters add some flavour.
+ The Grabber.
- Lack of polish.
- Story is vague and just not interesting.
- Multiplayer is stale.
- A new mechanic was was unnecessary.

Buy or rent? Rent just to see if you can look past the game's glaring flaws. With the game's short single player, weak multiplayer and framerate problems I don't see this game being better then Doom 3.



Rating: 6

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